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A Nomad’s Ode to the Pomegranate

 

Each and every grain, pearls

of my unrequited loves.

Each aril a cell filled with juice,

nectar portioned out

like tears. Thirst-quenching.

If only it were right to make handfuls

burst red and wet enough for a throat full –

a gulp or two of some certain kind of love.

The trick I find is in the opening. Or in knowing

when sounds are noise

or in fact calls to prayer.

 

I am not so special, not

unlike the others:

in youth, love left me bored

so I contented myself to only see

this armoured red thing roll.

I placed it on smooth, raked

surfaces where nothing

impeded its escape.

 

In puberty, I sliced it open

and dug the knife tip deep

even scratched the flesh

with my own nails –

I saw seedy lives exploding

in wasted liquid fleeing in desperate

trajectories, my belying stained fingers

betraying a youth’s grasp

on immortality.

 

In my teens, I turned

to baptism.

I sliced

through the heart

of it, I pushed

it down, wound first

into crystal cool water

urging salvation,

hedging anointment

by flaming holy ghost,

 

I rapped its backside

with a soup spoon the size of Heimlich

because all true liberation

will invariably pass

or so I thought

through moments of sudden violence

and sting –

 

I should like to say that now I’ve found a way

perhaps less indiscriminately cruel

to get the most out of love,

not even spill a drop

and by some skilled conjuring

still leave this round red fruit whole.

 

But I cannot tell you

that my method now

is any more humane.

 

I have some age

I’ve found a way

to get at each sweet one

but, alas, I still need knives:

 

I slice the root,

make membrane scores,

peel six chambers

pole to pole

so at least I have some chance

to get at them

at least whilst they are whole

each filled with their own great promise

not yet crushed

consumed or

spilled.

 

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